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Old 02-08-2012, 01:14 PM   #1
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I got lucky, leveling blocks

Boys,
The other day while camped at Quartzsite, my son in law, who was camped along side us for a couple of days, brought out some nice leveling blocks. I asked him where he got them and he said on a job site. He didn't know what they were used for. So, I went on the hunt. After a few minutes on the phone, I found out what it was called and, what and how to order or pick some up. The product is called "Versallam" or "Parallam". It comes in a beam. It can be 3.5" thick or, up to 6.5" thick. It can be 9.5", 11.5", or 16.5" wide. The lengths vary, according to what's ordered by a customer.

Well, I like having them for my jacks 'cause I don't like the jacks traveling down so much and to me, it's more stable if they don't. Just my opinion. Anyway, after searching around, I got real lucky. A local lumber company had a 3.5"x 16.5" x 18' beam hanging around that they had received full credit on and had never sold it. They said, "come on down and we'll give you the whole beam.

Well, I went down today with my trusty brand new Honda CRV and talked to the saw man and he proceeded to chop that beam up into 12" sections. 17 of them, to be exact. I loaded it in the back, paid them a whole $15.00 for mill work and was out of there. Yahooo. Now, a little routing on the edges so they don't splinter and some Thompson's Water seal for a little preservation and, maybe a handle so I can move them around and retrieve them from under the coach and carry them here and there. They're not all that heavy each.

But, the good thing here, they WON'T SPLIT like my present 6 x 12 x 12s do. It's just kind of nice to have them around for projects when I need to get the big girl up in the air, like the removal of my basement A/C unit for some service coming up.
Scott

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Old 02-08-2012, 01:21 PM   #2
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Fireup,

I don't want to hijack this topic, but wanted to remind you that your jacks don't extend straight down, before you make that stack too high.

If they can't slip, they will tip.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:25 PM   #3
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Have you tried them yet?
It will be interesting to see how they hold up when a load is placed on their face as they were originally designed to bare weight in their edge.
Very interested, Please keep us posted.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:32 PM   #4
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i used some of the glue lams a few years ago with our fiver.
seemed to hold up well, for about a year, then the edges starting un-glueing, i think they just got to wet
mine were free, as we were building a new house and the glue lams were used in the main arch way and garage beams, so kept the cut offs

sealing the edges might give you a longer life,
thanks and keep us posted
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Old 02-08-2012, 02:04 PM   #5
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That you didn't have to pay for the stuff is a great find, for sure. Curious how much the stuff would've cost you. I also like to have such blocks so the jacks are not extended to or close to maximum, especially on sloped sites.

FWIW, I purchased a 12'X12"X2" length of redwood at HDepot for about $20 (as I recall) and had the fellow there cut it in 12" sections. As most know, redwood lasts for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and is impervious to just about anything. I inserted small eye bolts into 2 sides of each redwood piece so that I can move it around easily with my window awning rod. Having used the things several times, I have found them to be incredibly strong, although they are not the lightest things in my storage bay. But that's not necessarily a bad thing for pad material....
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernieh View Post
Fireup,

I don't want to hijack this topic, but wanted to remind you that your jacks don't extend straight down, before you make that stack too high.

If they can't slip, they will tip.
ernieh,
You're not hijacking the thread here. You're simply pointing out the possibility of potential disaster, should I not be careful or paying attention to what I'm doing. It's very much appreciated. I do realize that the jacks come down at an angle and I accommodate for that if, and when I might stack these blocks. If, I do stack them, it will surely not be more than two high. Thanks for the heads up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMDSailor View Post
Have you tried them yet?
It will be interesting to see how they hold up when a load is placed on their face as they were originally designed to bare weight in their edge.
Very interested, Please keep us posted.
IMDSailor,
My son in law has had them for a short while now and he's used them in not so perfect conditions and so far, they seem to be doing just fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by powerboatr View Post
i used some of the glue lams a few years ago with our fiver.
seemed to hold up well, for about a year, then the edges starting un-glueing, i think they just got to wet
mine were free, as we were building a new house and the glue lams were used in the main arch way and garage beams, so kept the cut offs

sealing the edges might give you a longer life,
thanks and keep us posted
powerboatr,
Yes Sir, these things are just like regular particle board, basically a sponge. They will soak up moisture and any other fluid that comes in contact with them. I was planning on some Thompson's Water proofing but, I may just thin down some varnish or urethane with some solvent and let it soak in for a couple coats, not sure just yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeapBigEngin View Post
That you didn't have to pay for the stuff is a great find, for sure. Curious how much the stuff would've cost you. I also like to have such blocks so the jacks are not extended to or close to maximum, especially on sloped sites.

FWIW, I purchased a 12'X12"X2" length of redwood at HDepot for about $20 (as I recall) and had the fellow there cut it in 12" sections. As most know, redwood lasts for hundreds, if not thousands, of years and is impervious to just about anything. I inserted small eye bolts into 2 sides of each redwood piece so that I can move it around easily with my window awning rod. Having used the things several times, I have found them to be incredibly strong, although they are not the lightest things in my storage bay. But that's not necessarily a bad thing for pad material....
HeapBigEngin,
Before I found the "free" one, I almost worked a deal with a local Dixieline Lumber Co for the next size up beam. Only it was only going to be for a short section. I was going for the 6.5" x 12" x 4' and it was going to be $12.00 per foot. So, chopped into four equal blocks it would have been 6"x12"x12". @ $12.00 each. But, in finding this one with the "free" part attached, I decided to get the thinner one and, like stated above, if needed, I'll stack them for a job under the coach, with great care and watchfulness.


I will mention at this point, I've already routed the edges with a 1/2" round over bit and, because of the nature of construction, and style of gluing together, it splinters quite easily. So, I'm sanding them too and will apply some sort of sealer/finish/filler if needed. I don't want to get too deep into these. This was supposed to be easier to set them up than I'm doing. But, I thought the grain was going to be tighter and less chance of splintering. Maybe this is why they "gave" it to me. Oh well, I'm not into it that much with the exception of the $15.00 cut fee. If it goes south and they don't work out for some reason, at least for use while camping, I'll use them at home for various jobs.

But, let's just see how I can dress them up some and see how they turn out. Thanks for all your concern and your comments.
Scott
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:58 PM   #7
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FIRE UP, I like the idea that they were FREE. If they don't work out they will make good firewood on your next camping trip.

Sammie
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:38 PM   #8
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It all sounds great. The only addition I would make is to add a piece of rubber that would cover the entire bottom, applied with spray on contact cement. Two things accomplished with that. Keeps the wood from touching the ground, and insulates the vehicle from lightening strikes, direct or offset.
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammie View Post
FIRE UP, I like the idea that they were FREE. If they don't work out they will make good firewood on your next camping trip.

Sammie
Sammie,
Roger that Sir. It will be the best prepared fire wood I've every used. Sawed, routed, "Durhams Wood puttied" (for all the splintery holes), sealed, urethaned, and INTO THE FIRE! But, before I get to carried away, I'll make sure they don't work or, there's issues that are unresolvable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IMDSailor View Post
It all sounds great. The only addition I would make is to add a piece of rubber that would cover the entire bottom, applied with spray on contact cement. Two things accomplished with that. Keeps the wood from touching the ground, and insulates the vehicle from lightening strikes, direct or offset.
IMDSailor,
You know, I was thinking of doing that. There is a number of ways and or glues on the market that will do a fine job of attachment between the two. MY only issue is, as stated earlier, those jacks come down at a slight angle. That means that as they are "lifting" the big girl, they are attempting to slide those block a slight amount. And, the more you try and lift it to correct leveling problems, the more "shear" you're applying to those blocks and the rubber sheeting attached. This is why I go through what ever I do, to pre-level the coach with the tires/wheels before I "fine tune" the level with the jacks.

But, you're suggestion is well taken. I'll check around for some rubber sheeting to install. Thank you.
Scott
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